During his brief homily at Keough’s Thursday night Mass, Rector Paul Carter informed his congregation of four students—all of whom were Eucharistic ministers—of his intentions to alter the format of the coming Sunday’s liturgy.
A student who wished to remain anonymous repeated Fr. Carter’s statement: “Just a heads up, everybody. After much Growth and Learning and reflection on the Notre Dame Values of Community, I’ve decided that, starting this Sunday, the part of church where you all line up will be replaced by another of the times where you all have* to hug each other.”
By the words “that part where you all line up,” Carter was, of course, referring to the Communion of the Faithful, wherein all those who are in a state of grace process towards the altar in order to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hugging each other refers to the sign of peace, which in many dorm Masses already occurs twice.
When contacted for comment, Fr. Carter responded enthusiastically.
“Yes! I’m glad word has gotten out,” Carter said. “I just figured, you know, it’s called ‘communion,’ so why not have it be something that builds community, like giving a hug and saying ‘peace’ to everybody in the chapel for the third time in fifty minutes.”
Carter was also eager to share many of his other ideas for greater community in the Mass.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous that we only hold hands during the Our Father,” Carter continued. “Is that really the only prayer we care about? No. We should do it for the Hail Mary and the Rosary and the Bible thing and all of the other prayers in the Mass. Also, I think the chapels here really take the focus away from community. We need to facilitate more of a round table atmosphere. You know what has great community? Chik-fil-A. I think the Catholic Church really needs to catch up to the protestants when it comes to zeal. If we don’t transcend these acoustic instruments and go fully electric, then we are going to lose the youth; Bob Dylan said that. Zeal and Community; I said that.”
At press time Fr. Carter had not yet been defrocked.
*Correction: Fr. Carter asked that we clarify that this is the part where you GET to hug each other.
Andy Lessard is a senior.